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You know your 'marketing personas', but what are your 'seller personas'?

By ClientsFirst October 28, 2015 Social media Marketing Personas Growth marketing

For those unfamiliar with marketing personas or buyer personas, a quick introduction.

Marketing personas are fictional representations of your different types of ideal clients, which help you to market your service or product. Using a marketing persona template, you can create a handy piece of reference material which helps you to align your message with the people you are trying to reach.

Let’s say you are a bank and you need to market a new current account. There are two very simple B2C examples below of marketing personas you might use as the inspiration and reasoning behind everything your marketing department is now going to create; from design, to advertisements, to reference material.

Example Marketing Personas

Marketing Persona 1

Name: Phil the Student
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Personal background: A-level educated, planning to study to degree level and leave University, currently single.
Current banking habits: Has held the same bank account since age 17, set up ahead of University funds arriving, has never shopped around the banking market.
Key concerns, goals and challenges: Constantly short of money, needs easy funds to support social life at university, Summer holiday with friends. Aims to attend the amount of lectures that will enable him to pass his degree. Simultaneous aim to go out most nights of the week.
Key reason to engage with us: The ‘switch and we’ll give you £100’ offer.

Marketing Persona 2

Name: Lizzy the Young Professional
Age: 25
Occupation: Trainee Accountant
Personal background: Degree educated, part of an unmarried couple who are co-habiting in rented accommodation, whilst saving for a mortgage. Close to finishing her training course, as is her partner.
Current banking habits: Current account, ISA account. Hardly any engagement with the bank apart from day-to-day withdrawals, monthly salary deposit.
Key concerns, goals and challenges: Trying to save every bit of money possible for a house. Knows that she should review banking arrangements but never seems to make it to the top of her list. House and qualification are leaving her short of time. Saving for deposit is leaving her short of money.
Key reasons to engage with us: The ‘switch and we’ll give you £100’ offer. The ‘one click to switch’ easy-switch process.

In this case, our bank has created two great personas that they can now factor their marketing around. These are fictional personas, rather than specific ones that we at ClientsFirst have used ‘live’ with a client, but you can imagine that these could well be the actual personas behind current account promotions today.


So… what are seller personas?

Seller personas are a much rarer find in marketing, but are nonetheless important, particularly when it comes to coordinating your social media efforts, or any other digital marketing push which can involve your business taking on a personality or personalities.

Let’s stick with the bank analogy. The bank needs to establish a ‘voice’ which can communicate with Phil and Lizzy. Phil and Lizzy represent two different audiences and so, to establish the voice the bank needs, it might help them to create seller personas. These personas can then be used to brief the marketing and social media teams within the bank, so that they know how they should respond to enquiries who fit the Phil and Lizzy models.

Example seller persona

Let’s look at a seller persona for Phil and then think about how it might change for Lizzy.

Seller Persona 1

Name: Amelia the Hip Executive
Age: 25
Occupation: Student Banking Executive
Way in which Amelia differs to bank’s tone: Amelia is a recent student herself and understands Phil’s concerns. She can talk as fluently about chic clubs as she can about returns on instant cash accounts. She expects Phil to engage with the bank casually and is happy to engage on the same level. She is authorised to offer Phil a ‘students only’ extra special deal which takes the current account switch bonus to £125.
Example communication: Phil sends a tweet to the bank’s social account: ‘Hey bank, what do I need to do to get your £100 switch bonus? That would come in handy for the weekend!’
Amelia replies with: ‘Hey Phil, send us some simple details here www.bankofClientsFirst.co.uk. It’s only available if the first drink is on you though ;)’

Changing the seller persona

In the case of Marketing Persona 2, Lizzy, the above seller persona is likely to become more helpful, needing to answer questions at a higher level. We might set its age and job function higher to back these answers up. Lizzy’s initial concerns might be around the time it takes to switch, so our seller persona will reassure her that the bank does all of the work. At the same time, because the seller persona is geared towards addressing Lizzy’s concerns of saving time and money, the persona might suggest a review of her current accounts situation. This is free, carried out by the bank and gives Lizzy an easy action plan to follow in the future. It can be done at the same time as switching current account. In the meantime, the seller persona which engages with Lizzy is willing and able to sympathise on how long banks can take and reassure her that this isn’t the case here.

Introducing seller personas to your firm

The first step for firms when introducing a seller persona is to create one for your core marketing persona. From here, it’s easy to tweak elements, add more into the mix and spin the original persona off into new personas.

Once created, your personas then need to begin to seep into most areas of your marketing. Social media is particularly important but consider other marketing elements too. A YouTube video made for Phil is going to look very different to one made for Lizzy, but which one is more likely to encourage Phil to buy? The answer is obvious, but firms regularly ignore both marketing and seller personas when creating their content, instead settling for a bland ‘corporate’ voice, which fails to connect with their ideal client.

Your client remains at the core of your seller personas. This is all about making it easier for the client to do business with you. You are creating a voice they want to engage with, communicate through and, ultimately of course: buy from!


Sam Turner pictureBy Sam Turner. Sam is ClientsFirst's Online Marketing Strategist and writes here on topics including; inbound and content marketing, social media, design and e-marketing. He likes all of those things as well as travel, golf and frequent cups of tea. You can find him on , Twitter & LinkedIn.




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